Half of the Internet is down, Thanks to Amazon and mother Nature

I don’t know if you guys have noticed but since the past 2 days the most popular websites and web services are erratic.

The reason: Amazon Cloud is having power issues in one of its location, which has taken popular sites like, Foursquare, Instagram, Netflix along with it, at this point I can only remember one phase, “Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic.” and I don’t even know why 😉

A lesson to learn for all you top companies out, never lay all your eggs in one basket.

An outage of one of the services Amazon Web Services offers, the Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud in North Virginia has taken down Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram, and other services.

Amazon’s service health dashboard indicates that there are “power issues” in its North Virginia data center, most likely caused by severe storms in the region(which is not severe as it sounds, but yeah).

A line of severe storms packing winds of up to 80 mph has caused extensive damage and power outages in Virginia.  Dominion Virginia Power crews are assessing damages and will be restoring power where safe to do so.  We appreciate your patience during this restoration process.  Additional details will be provided as they become available.

This outage my start the age old debate of having your own data centers, versus hosting it on a cloud, yes, people, the CLOUD has gone down, Amazon cloud, the most versatile, the most robust of them all has taken your favorite website down, mine’s Foursquare, which one is yours?

Confirmations coming in by VentureBeat of Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and Heroku(Ruby SaaS, that runs many website and also is an Official Facebook Application Cloud hosting company) show each site were not operating. As the time, this article was written, the service were occassionally not available.

So the lists of popular sites affected by the Virginia Cloud power issue, due to a thunderstorm are:

  • Netflix
  • Pinterest
  • Foursquare
  • Instagram
  • Airbnb
  • Heroku
  • Quora
  • Hootsuite
  • Tumblr
  • Woot
  • Skype

Amazon’s status dashboard shows that the Elastic Compute, Elastic Cache, Elastic MapReduce and Relational Database Services have been out for over an hour. Amazon is blaming the outage on what it describes as “a power event.”

So what are you doing or what did you do when your favorite website was down?

Oh and by the way, In its AWS marketing pitch, Amazon touts the way it links together many different data centers to protect customers from isolated failures. It promises to keep customers’ sites up and running 99.95% of the year, or it will shave 10% off customers’ monthly bills.

That allows for downtime of just 4.4 hours. Some sites have been down for nearly 36 hours now.

P.S.: The DNetWorks are still functional, of course we have Amazon as a CDN and backup, we too offload a ton of our bandwidth to Amazon’s cloud servers because their fast and reliable. However, when they go down, why should our site go down?

Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Storms, Tsunami, Zombie Apocalypse , Doomsday is bound to happen, if the TOP most Cloud computing company can’t handle it then maybe we aren’t ready for a Cloud based Modern Lifestyle yet.

I might have to CDN The DNetWorks and all our other websites on Google Cloud maybe.

All of you wondering, there have several availability zones across continents, why not move the data to the healthy zone, they are doing it and the sheer amount of data is taking time, yes, we are in stone age again, that’s their backup plan.

The DNetWorks Team

Comments are closed.